There is an element in film noir, in the way light and shadow is used in such extreme contrast that is almost religious or spiritual or philosophical." What does Bailey mean by this?
In my opinion, john bailey statement meant that there is a contrast in the use of light and shadow to bring definite effect. This is the effect that is regarded as religious, spiritual or philosophical. The themes in the film are sad and repelling but despite this, there exist the good elements which are merged in the film to market it as more attractive. (Andrew89) Bailey statement was made due to the relationship between good and evil. Darkness was used as a symbol of bad or evil deeds and also to convey the negative messages in the film. Light was used to symbolize a happy life and the arrival of good things and hope. Bailey meant that there was an element of hope regardless of the darkness and sadness of the film.
How can Hollywood movies be philosophical?
Hollywood movies are philosophical since their storyline are scripted to leave the audience thinking on the occurrences of the movie. (Telotte34) There is a clear explanation of how the story got written and how it ends in a style. Every individual stands a chance to complete the analysis of the film towards the direction that they believe is more convenient.
Do you agree with Bailey's vision of film noir as an encounter between good and evil, and that this moral undercurrent accounts for the use of strong black and white cinematography?
I am in agreement with the vision of bailey as an encounter of good and evil. This is due to the fact that the black and white cinematography is used to contrast between the good and evil. Black means evil while white refers to the good deeds. In a nutshell, film noir production faced a lot of hurdles as it required the good element factor despite the world having ended a war. The cinematographers took a chance to ensure that films had a hopeful aspect. (Andrew98).
Spicer, Andrew. European Film Noir. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2007.
Telotte, J. P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989.